Coronavirus: gastroenterology and hepatology update
Due to increased demand on the hospital due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are having to make significant changes to our services. Many endoscopy and outpatient appointments have been postponed or cancelled.
It is very important that patients do not travel into hospital unless there is an urgent need.
We are attempting to contact all patients with a future scheduled appointment.
If you have not heard from us within three days of your scheduled appointment, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to use email or your query is urgent, please call 020 7188 2491. Our phone lines are very busy and there may be a wait for your call to be answered.
We are contacting all patients by text to inform them if they have an outpatient appointment. Most appointments are taking place as a telephone consultation. Please do not attend the hospital unless you are specifically told to do so. Some appointments may be cancelled without a future date being arranged at this stage. If we cancel your appointment you may remain on our waiting list or be discharged back to your GP, who will be informed.
We are gradually increasing our activity. We are prioritising suspected cancer and urgent referrals as well as overdue surveillance. Routine referrals that have built up over the last three months will be addressed next. Therefore, we are unable to accept any new routine referrals.
If you are asked to attend the endoscopy department for an appointment, please be reassured that we have put special measures in place to maintain social distancing.
Shielding and self-isolation patients
Patients at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 are being advised to self-isolate or to 'shield'. If you are asked to attend the hospital for an endoscopy or an appointment, please make sure to tell us that you are a shielding patient.
If you are an existing patient who has previously been seen in our service and need advice from the clinical team, please choose the most appropriate option.
For questions or concerns about your medicines, or if you run out of medication, please email our pharmacy helpline email@example.com.
We are doing everything we can to support GPs and your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you need advice you can use the eRS Advice and Guidance service for written communication or Consultant Connect for telephone advice (Lambeth and Southwark GPs only). You can also use the email addresses listed above for the IBD and liver sub-specialties and general gastro enquiries.
Suspected cancer referrals
If you submit suspected cancer referrals, please make sure the information below is included.
- Bleeding/anaemia: please include Hb value, ferritin and transferrin saturation
- Dysphagia: duration of symptoms, localisation (neck vs distal), presence of weight loss
- Weight loss: last weight and baseline
- FIT result is mandatory for all referrals. If the main symptom is rectal bleeding, a FIT should be carried out when no overt bleeding is present.
We are currently accepting only urgent and suspected cancer referrals and they are all vetted to prioritise those which are at higher risk. Due to reduced capacity we are not able to book new routine appointments. However, we are assessing, mainly via telephone consultation, all the patients who had an appointment already booked before the COVID-19 crisis started. If you are worried about a patient, please contact us as suggested above.